Council bid to tackle poor quality housing in Bexhill

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160623-112311001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160623-112311001

Privately rented homes in Bexhill town centre will be put under the microscope in a bid to improve conditions for tenants.

Rother District Council will be carrying out inspections on the growing number of rented properties as part of an initiative which it hopes will improve the rental stock.

The project is part of an initiative supported by Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group to reduce the instances of poor health caused by sub-standard housing.

A spokesman for RDC said: “Poor quality housing can have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of tenants. It also affects the wider community by creating an environment which can enable anti-social behaviour, crime, and the fear of crime.

“Significantly reducing the number of poor quality private sector homes in the district is a priority for this council and we hope that this new initiative will help us achieve that goal.”

The proportion of privately rented properties in the district has increased from eight per cent in 2001 to 13 per cent in 2013. Owner occupation fell to 28 per cent in 2014 from 32 per cent in 2001.

Rother is required by law to keep housing conditions under review and has developed its Local Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2014-2019 which it hopes will help tackle the issue of poor quality homes.

The council has this year also been undertaking a housing survey, which will give important information about the general condition of privately rented housing in Rother, enabling the authority to develop its improvement plans.

Over the next 12 months, officers will carry out external visual inspections of properties in central Bexhill to identify those that appear poorly maintained.

RDC will then request access to carry out a full inspection and ensure any issues are addressed as soon as possible. Formal action can be taken against landlords if necessary.

The spokesman added: “We appreciate that many of the privately rented properties in Bexhill are of a good standard, but the district council has a responsibility to ensure all of its residents are safe and secure in their homes.

“With the growing number of privately rented properties in the district, we are committed to protecting residents and communities by ensuring they are of the highest standard.”

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